WES’s 2023 Graduation and Its Founding

Next Tuesday, WES’s 30 Grade 8 students will graduate and turn their academic attention to a wide variety of high schools. The whole community is proud of their growth and accomplishments. Ten of these students have been with us from their first day of school, more than a quarter of the life of WES. Indeed, just yesterday, our ten “Lifers” had lunch with our school’s founder, Isabelle Schuessler, and seven other former WES teachers, including several “founding faculty.” It was a true delight to see our curious, polite, and mature students chat with the people who made WES possible.

Tomorrow beginning at 5:30 in the afternoon, WES will celebrate Founders Day during a wonderful end-of-school-year party. It is another way that we look back with pride to an earlier time in our history. I hope to see you there — it is always a fun evening

Kim Bair, our Director of Admissions who came to WES in its second year, told me just last week that Mrs. Schuessler was “a force of nature,” who was able to gain the trust of 90 families in WES’s very first year, 1986. Early Childhood Director Mary Lee Nickel added she once had her Kindergarten students interview nine of the founding faculty — and was blown away by their pride in helping to form the school and its curriculum. “I learned so much from them,” Mary Lee told me. Kim agrees that WES’s early teachers — including many who were at the lunch yesterday — worked hard to make our school “a place where students and parents felt truly at home.”

I believe that they succeeded. Because of the hard work and vision of our founders, WES remains a community of warmth and welcome while also teaching students in fresh and challenging ways. Dave Schuessler, our Facilities Manager, mentioned that his mom always believed that students should learn by interacting with the world around them. “That’s why my mother started the study trips taking students around the world.”

Thank you, founders. You helped to propel hundreds of young people toward bright futures. And that includes the 30 who will become WES alumni next Tuesday.


Danny Vogelman
Head of School